On April 14th, 2017 the Kindergarten class visited Corelex, a paper recycling plant in Kawazaki. This field trip is a direct result of our unit of inquiry about how materials can be manipulated to suit our purpose and the children’s desire to reduce waste in the classroom. During our weekly big tidy up, a few children noticed the amount of wasted paper in the classroom as well as other materials such as plastic tape, markers and etc. These few children took initiative and presented their findings to the class at a meeting. This action prompted the rest of the class to take bigger actions: they reflected upon their use of paper and started to think about how they can reduce wasted paper in class. Some children found a book that teaches them how to reuse recycled paper to make other beautiful creations such as collages.
Our purpose for this trip is to extend the children’s knowledge and experience about recycling paper. We first asked the children what they think Corelex factory is and what it does.
It’s a paper factory.
Books. 100 books factory.
It has big machines.
We used Making Thinking Visible Compass Routine to help us clarify our thinking about this trip. Some children expressed excitement that they will get to see giant machines , some were worried about natural disasters while others offered suggestions on how to be safe.
Stay on pathway- walk in a straight line.
Don’t touch machines.
Stay with teacher or mom.
Don’t be silly.
Walk not run.
Stay in a group.
Careful of the truck- look and listen.
Don’t play with machines. They have buttons you cannot push.
We discussed what we needed to bring for ourselves and what we could bring for Corelex as a token of our appreciation. The children decided to make presents and coincidentally all of their ideas involved the use of paper. To their understanding, using paper is the best way to make presents as one child put it “…they are Corelex, they love paper so they will love our presents.”
After our visit to Corelex, we spent a few minutes discussing what we learned. We posed these questions for the children to ponder:
What do you know that you didn’t know before?
What was exciting and interesting for you?
What do you remember?
We asked the children discussed their experience using Think Pair Share routine. They proceeded to draw and post their learning on Seesaw.
I didn’t know toilet paper make out of machine and it was fun because I saw lot of machines.
I didn’t know we need train tickets to make toilet paper.
It was so interesting when the toilet paper are wrapped in the plastic bag because I never seen that before.
We saw giant toilet paper.
I saw when the toilet paper goes into small and they went to the different place.
I remember it going down the hall in the machine.
It goes to the bin.
They could make papers again.
It was really cool we could touch the big toilet paper rolls. I thought we couldn’t touch but Corelex said ok.
Big paper making and cut small rolls.
I saw lots of place there was a water they were washing the things, They need lots of water to make paper.
Paper making is very very hard. Water so hot. People work so hard.
There are already many learnings and inquiries happening in the classroom as a result of our trip to Corelex. The children have become more careful about using paper in class. We’ve noticed them picking up paper around the classroom with comments such as “This is wasting paper!” or “We can still use this.” Another small group of children discovered a book about materials and this book showed them how to make eco glue and how to create beautiful things out of recycle paper. While another group of children have shown interest in paper making using milk and juice cartons.